The probate process is not exactly a pleasant experience, but it is sometimes a necessary process to ensure the estate of the deceased is settled in an appropriate way. Given the complexity that sometimes comes along with this process, it is not unheard of for the process to take several months. However, you might be surprised to discover that it does not have to take a very long time. There are a few things you can do to help move the process along as quickly as possible.
1. Notify All Parties
If you are a potential beneficiary from the estate, you can do yourself a favor and contact all potential beneficiaries ahead of time. At some point during the probate process, all recipients and heirs of the estate will need to be present and play an active role. If even one party has not been informed of the process, it can delay the process for everyone else. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
2. Get All the Records Together
The next thing you should do is to collect as much information as you can, particularly when it comes to debts. Generally, as part of the probate process, all creditors must be contacted so that any necessary payment plans can be completed. Keep in mind that the court will seek out the creditors even if you do not, but if you present this information to the court upfront, the process moves along much faster.
3. Partner with a Local Attorney
If you are working with an estate that was filed in a different state from your state of residence, it might be best to hire an attorney in the filing state. The reason this step is helpful is that probate laws can vary across state lines. An attorney that already practices in the state will have a thorough understanding of the process, which can help avoid delays.
4. Keep Communication Lines Open
Make sure you stay in open communication with your attorney. Generally, when the attorney reaches out to you, it is for an important reason. The longer you wait to return their call or email, the longer it will take to provide a response to the court, which means the longer it will take for the process to be complete.
If you have a need for assistance, the best course of action is to get help as soon as possible. Contact a probate attorney for more information.